It’s a blank page. It’s always a blank page. And yet every time it’s turned into a beautiful story. Even though it’s often far from eloquent, far from coherent, far from perfection, it’s a story. Your story, my story. Any word poured out on a page, any syllable uttered from the mouth, any brush spread across a canvas, any root stretched a little deeper. They are utterances of our stories. And they matter.
There are a handful of word artists that I deeply respect. For some, I haven’t even read all of one of their books. But the theme coming from each of their voices is that your art matters. Your art that my not feel like art at all? It is. It matters because it releases your person as you really are. It leads you to notice the beautiful and creative around you. It leads you to express, release, and give thanks. It leads you to the King. Every little step of the process is important, so much more important than anyone can make you realize unless you believe the Creator Himself. I read Shauna Niequist, Emily Freeman, Hannah Brencher, and so many more, and in one way or another I’m redirected to my King in the purest, most sensible way my heart knows. I think that is art accomplished.
So today, as I read A Million Little Things, I’m reminded of all these things and I start to think. I think about the people who have inspired me and encouraged me. These women, my family, any inspiration from afar. And this time around I am reminded of a one-time interaction that has seemingly shaped my hopes and my desires for the manifestation of one of my art forms.
It is called Lovecrumbs. On a hilly street in the city of Edinburgh, at the age of eighteen, I met the shop that my mind always wanders back to. It’s one of those vivid memories in which you can’t decipher dream or reality. The barista was wearing an adorable red polka dot dress, her hair top-knotted. And there was cake. Everywhere. Literally everywhere. In the window seat, on tables, displayed in a cabinet like they were just nestled at home. In the other window seat, a cake-eater lounged. The mugs were all cute; I distinctly remember my mom’s coffee stirring being disrupted by a ceramic toad attached to the inside of the cup. People just sat and enjoyed their coffee and each other and some damn good cake.
Recently, I’ve started following the shop on social media, and it has reminded me of the glory of cake, which has always been and forever will be my niche. Cake is always the answer. Their flavors are amazing, their decor beautiful. I am inspired.
Thus, last week I tried to stretch my senses and pull together a flavor combo that I wouldn’t naturally resort to. Dark chocolate and rosemary. It’s interesting and I loved it, and I will continue to research and perfect this baby. And funny enough fact, only a few days ago the sweet Lovecrumbs posted the same cake. And it feels as though I’m figuring some things out, and everyone knows how good that feels.
Cheers, friends, to cake and inspiration and artistry and the King. May you find the rich, deep connection with Him that already He has so fantastically paved.
(Basic yellow cake recipe from theKitchn)
- 1 Tbs chopped, fresh rosemary
- 1 stick butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line two 9” cake pans. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating fully before the next addition. Gradually add flour mixture, followed by milk and vanilla. Beat on high for three minutes once everything is incorporated. Pour into pans and bake about 30 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
Dark Chocolate Icing
Take two pounds of room temperature butter and beat it real good in a stand mixer. Gradually add about three cups of powdered sugar, then lots and lots of cocoa powder and lots and lots of melted dark chocolate, until you reach the color and flavor you want (NB: prepare to use a lot of chocolate).
PS- thanks, Abb, for always editing my photos and making them look killer.